Monday, 31 March 2014

Decorating inspiration from Graceland

Our visit to Memphis included many awesome experiences. Visiting Graceland was always on the list (how could it not be) but none of our group are bona fide Elvis fans so it felt like a little bit of a tick box thing. Especially as we did it an hour after a visit to the Full Gospel Tabernacle where we heard Al Green sing a bit of 'I'm so tired of being alone'. But more on that later...


Graceland turned out to be a pretty special place, the highlight being the outrageous interior decor which was oddly inspiring. I wonder if a terrace house in Croydon would look good with a jungle room? I also now want a bar in every room and a triple TV media lounge. In yellow and navy blue, of course.

Check out the photos below...


Jungle Room*

*Yup, like in the Cher song



Television Room

Billiard Room

 Dining room and lounge

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Maltby Street Market and LASSCO Ropewalk

These are some photos taken during a quick walk around Maltby Street Market on Saturday. The place is getting so popular and there are better stalls every time we come. (Pro-tip: have a lie-in, go late and get BOGOF bread from the lovely people at Comptoir Gourmand).

We also visited LASSCO Ropewalk for the first time. This is the latest outlet of the famous salvage company. The Bermondsey shop is a bit of a wonderland of old school furniture (including some desks with very rude graffiti on them), old flag, baths and doorknobs. I'm not making it sound as good as it is, so I should also mention that it has a secret room where you can listen to live jazz and take swing dance lessons. The whole shops reminds me of a more practical version of the legendary antique shop, Uncommon Objects in Austin, Texas. I have a feeling that I'll be spending a lot of any available disposable income here once I move into out new house.

 I also spotted this aggressively hip collection of novelty pigs.

After walking around for a while and eating a lot of bread, we were tired and in need of feeding. So we swooped in on Pizza Lupa London Bridge for their little known collection-only offer (17 inches of pizza for less than £12). We then consumed this in a park with beers. Fine holiday fun!

Under the Skin


We saw Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer's new film, last night. It is a slow burn but very inventive and disturbing. It will really stay with you, especially the incredibly cold-hearted scene involving a family on a beach and the last five minutes of the film, when you finally get a hint of what is going on/under the skin of Scarlett Johansson's character.

I'm not much of a Johansson fan, but what I've heard called her 'detached cool' works well in this film. The sequences when she is trying to charm Glaswegian men into her car are a bit like You've Been Framed. The fake English accent she puts on and TV presenter charm are as alien as if she had grey skin and an ET neck. It all works against the background of Sauciehall Street and gangs of pre-teen neds perfectly.

 The other big draws to this film are Adam Pearson (a fellow Croydoner) a disfigured man who is preyed on by Johannson but ends up inadvertently triggering a switch in her journey. Also the eerie soundtrack by Mica Levi.

This film is a brutal Kubrick, Lynch, Morvern Callar type mixture. Watch it!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Cinema Sunday: Martin Scorsese's 'After Hours' (1985)

Cinema Sunday is where I share shots from movies that I think are good and everyone else should see. Bonus points if they have good costumes and set design. Them's the rules.

Martin Scorsese's 1985 film, After Hours, isn't that well known but is worth getting to know. It is a funny, malevolent story of a fresh faced NY word processor (apparently that was a job once) who goes out into Soho looking for a little action and ends up being persecuted by a selection of misfits, burglars and crazy ladies. Every offer of help in getting back uptown and home turns into another danger.  One surreal thing after another happens to this poor yuppie. He also leaves a trail of destruction in his wake; a selection of blondes, bartenders and burglars who are out of pocket, locked out or out cold.

The 'hero' Paul, reminds me a lot of the main character from the Coen Brothers' new film, Inside Llewyn Davies, only in that they are both slightly charming but quite unpleasant guys who get put through ordeals that you might not feel entirely sorry about.

If a twisted story about 80s New York isn't enough to tempt you, then you should know that After Hours is very enjoyable just for its style, from 80s office life to the kooky studio apartments and lofts of the women Paul meets along the way.  Click below for more pictures or watch the trailer here.

After Hours

Monday, 3 February 2014

Jad Grill - Lebanese food on Tower Bridge Road

Figuring out the best neighbourhood takeaway should always be priority number one when moving to a new area.  When we moved to Tower Bridge Road three years ago we embarked on a mini-crusade to find the best Chinese, Indian and pizza within walking distance.  Since that first flush of excitement we've really gotten quite lazy and keep hanging around the same places, so as we were on our way back from drinks in Peckham the other evening and nothing else was open, we thought we'd finally pay a visit to Jad, a Lebanese takeaway/restaurant just opposite our flat.

If only we'd done it years ago! For £7.50 each we got foot-long, charcoal grilled lamb flatbreads, about the weight and warmth of a cat. They contained succulent lamb (and lots of it), hummus, salad, pickles and garlic sauce all in a home made flat bread.  Just what you want after a night out.

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Thank god we were close enough to home to take them inside and eat them on plates. I wouldn't want to tackle one of these babies while walking.

We didn't stay in and eat, but you can, and there was a really nice atmosphere even late on a Saturday night. A couple of kids were sitting down to lamb and rice, the proprietor's daughter was sitting with her friend and alternating a good chat with popping up to answer the phone and make sure everyone had everything they wanted.

I'll definitely be back for a sit down meal and some mint tea.

Jad Grill
88 Towerbridge Road, London SE1
(020) 3620 8347

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Well, Spring

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The first month of 2014 is already gone! Looks like this will be another year that will go by in a flash.

Taking a leaf out of Michelle's book, here are a couple of things I want to do this year to make the most of the Spring before it runs away with me.

  • Read more books: When I work up the willpower to put away the internet and get away from distractions I can read incredibly fast.  On my year studying abroad when I had no wireless for the first four months, I read a huge amount of classic literature and have been trading off it ever since. This time I need to make a real effort to get more proper political/history/current affairs reading done instead of just assuming I can just get a grasp of everything from my newspaper addiction.
  • See the great and famous paintings of London: A client visiting from Dallas recently spent almost every free evening going to the big galleries to see London's 'famous' paintings. it made me realise how lucky I am to be in city that not only has amazing art, but where the majority of it is free to see.  It seems crazy that I've been to the Tate Modern countless times but haven't seen the Old Masters at the National Gallery. 
  • Be more of a cheapskate: I bleed an awful lot of money on pointless small luxuries like sandwiches and magazines and never have enough saved up to buy the big things I want like Adobe Illustrator or an Eames lounger. No more!
Are you making any Spring resolutions?

Monday, 27 January 2014

St Vincent - pastels, copper and platinum hair

Everyone already knows of my love for Annie Clark, AKA St Vincent. She has a new album out soon and the artwork really makes the most of her new shock of platinum blonde hair. She looks like a total space princess babe. We are seeing her in London and Nashville and I cannot wait.

st vincent

Also, life isn't all about aesthetics and Annie Clark really can play guitar, so here is her Beatles cover:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Weekend report

This weekend, I stuffed my face at the Woolpack on Bermondsey Street, celebrated Burn's Night with burritos and amazing homemade guacamole (from this recipe).

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...Decided I want this Monet as a wall of my future house at the Tate Modern and tried out my HAY mardi gras mask, ready for my trip to New Orleans.

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I also decided I want this amazing ipad sleeve by Gina Pipet, textile designer extraordinaire.

Georgia Pipet designGeorgia Pipet design

My place

It has been a crazy January so far... I cannot believe how much has happened in the last two weeks. I can't say more about that now without jinxing it so instead, here are a couple of views of how our place is looking at the moment.

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lime and lavender

Lime green. Purple. The last time I considered buying anything that was lime green was a 90s a-line skirt in Tammy Girl with a Mary Quant daisy zip. But, all of a sudden I'm obsessed with lime green Littala glass and light purple (I normally hate purple). It just goes to show there is no such thing as classic taste. Cardboard Cities seems to agree, so it's not just that I've lost my marbles.
From Hallonsemla


green 3
From Le Petit Chien

Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica porcelain

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